Now for the cake, which is probably the singular most successful part of this recipe. Expecting a repeat performance of the non-rising cake of the May L'opera cake, since the recipe seemed pretty similar, I used a smaller but taller cake tin, in the hopes of forcing 3 layers out of the cake, by hook or by crook. Turned out, my plan backfired, because surprise surprise, the cake rose mile high, and overflowed out of my tin.
Still, I'm thrilled that it rose so much, and I got 3 layers out of it with no problems at all. A tip that I got off the Daring Bakers forum, to 'cut' the layers with a piece of dental floss, instead of trying to hack it with a knife, gave me beautiful layers. I was so proud of my sky high cake and its neat, even, un-crumbly layers that I couldn't stop staring at it =P
The cake, doused with the rum syrup, filled with the mutant whipped cream, and glazed with strawberry jam:
The rest of the challenge went without a hitch, and by the end of the day, I had a beautiful, gorgeous gateau in my fridge.
Having said all that, I also have to say that I won't be making this cake again unless it was for an uber uber uber special event. My greatest problem with this recipe is that it is simply too luxurious, bordering on decadence, and not in the good sense. I believe I can achieve a similar cake with half the ingredients used in this cake, such as reducing the nuts and increasing the flour, using plain buttercream/whipped cream instead of praline, so on and so forth.
In today's climate of world starvation and inflation of food prices, I really cannot justify, to myself, the spending of so much resources on a cake. Also, don't you think that its more of a challenge to create something delicious from limited resources? To me, when that much ingredients are thrown into a cake, it can't help but taste good, which is not much of a testament to my skills as a baker and a cook =)